The exponential growth of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) creates new risks for the Department of Defense (DoD). Technology trends are dramatically transforming legitimate applications of sUAS while simultaneously making them increasingly capable weapons in the hands of state actors, non-state actors, and criminals. Small UAS may also pose hazards to DoD operations in the air, land, and maritime domains when controlled by negligent or reckless operators. The Department must protect and defend personnel, facilities, and assets in an environment where increasing numbers of sUAS will share the skies with DoD aircraft, operate in the airspace over DoD installations and be employed by our Nation’s adversaries.
The primary opportunity and purpose of this effort is to integrate a government-owned High Energy Laser (HEL) subsystem with a power and thermal subsystem and sensor package to demonstrate increased lethality in negating sUAS. The HEL C-sUAS system will be demonstrated in a relevant environment and must show increased magazine depth while reducing operational costs, risk of interfering with untargeted systems, and risk of collateral damage when compared to other C-sUAS Block 0 systems.
A Counter Small UAS High Energy Laser System should:
- Detect and characterize Class 1 and 2 UAS threats at standoff ranges.
- Possess hard-kill capability against Class 1 and 2 unmanned aerial systems using a high energy laser at standoff ranges with high reliability.
- Be agnostic towards laser technology, have a modular open system design, and interface with Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control (FAAD C2)
- Possess the capability to defend fixed and semi fixed sites.
- Reach Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 and Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 5 when demonstrated as a prototype at the end of this effort.
Whitepaper submissions shall include how you would approach designing, integrating, prototyping, and delivering two (2) Counter Small UAS High Energy Laser systems with the assumption that two (2) high energy laser weapon systems and two (2) surveillance radar systems will be provided as GFE at the start of the project, and the system will be ready for demonstration in April 2022.
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